Chef Tiffany Derry is one of the most celebrated chefs in DFW. Her empire extends from running Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch and Roots Chicken Shack in Austin to appearing on an array of Food Network shows. She’s a 2022 James Beard finalist, and has been featured in the New York Times and Esquire. She’s also a food advocate, working with organizations including No Kid Hungry and the National Restaurant Association.
Derry shared some of her favorite Black-owned restaurants and bars around Dallas. “I try not to make it about being Black. I don’t want [Roots] to be known as the Black-owned restaurant that’s pretty good,” Derry tells Eater Dallas. “I want to be known as a restaurant that’s amazing and that is Black-owned for those who need to know. I don’t want it to be off of the name of being Black but the fact that we are doing something amazing.”
This guide includes Derry’s favorites, from restaurants to food trucks and barbecue to vegan.
Grab a drink: Daq’s
4940 TX-121 in Plano
“I’m going to pull in some help on where we go because I’m bad with names, but my man is here,” she says. Her husband whispers, “Daq’s!” ”Oh yaaaassss, Daq’s. It’s close to us, which makes it convenient.”
Mom-and-pop cafe: Catfish Floyd’s
710 Ann Arbor Ave.
“I learned about them at the Texas State Fair. I am not going to the fair without going to Catfish Floyd’s. The booth is always in the same spot. It is always super-duper hot, fresh, and seasoned.”
Barbecue: Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que and Home Cooking
1820 W Mockingbird Ln.
“Two Black men doing extremely well, getting their seasoning in stores now — Smokey John’s barbecue. What I like about them too is that they are always having a promotion and I think they are really doing a lot to let people understand ‘Hey, we’re here.’ I didn’t even know they’ve been open since 1976. I wasn’t even living here at that time. I love that they do Black History Month catering packages too, because of all the education that comes along with what they are doing.”
Vegan spot: Bam’s Vegan Smoothies and Wraps
2301 N O’Connor Rd. in Irving
“Bam’s Vegan. You say vegan, I say Bam’s, BOOM!”
Dessert shop: Cookie Society
5100 Belt Line Rd., Suite 830
“Cookie Society is so good. Part of what I like about their business is they are just amazing cookies that happen to be Black girl magic.”
Food truck: Soulgood
Klyde Warren Park
“Cynthia Nevels, she’s crushing it! She’s even doing frozen food in stores. She’s in Denton, but she’s also in Klyde Warren Park in the Arts District, and in Houston.”
Recommendation: Restaurant Beatrice
1111 N Beckley Ave.
[Ed. note: Beatrice is not Black-owned, but does have a Black executive chef]
“I haven’t been able to go yet because I travel so much, but I have been wanting to go to Restaurant Beatrice. Been knowing chef Terance Jenkins for years. I am excited to go and I can’t wait. I’m very proud of them for bringing in the farmers, choosing who they do business with, and who they chose to buy from, which is super important. I think the more of us who realize we have buying power will be able to produce better results [in the health of diners, affecting] diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, and all of the things that are associated with eating foods that may be considered unhealthy. It’s not a cultural thing — all of our food isn’t bad. Black food isn’t bad, soul food isn’t bad, southern food isn’t bad. It’s the food we choose to eat every day. And if we, as a culture, decided to buy more from the farms and decided to know where our food comes from, then we can have a decrease in these ailments that are tied to us. I love that this is what chef Terance is doing, how the restaurant takes a stand, and the mission driven by the restaurant. It’s their time, and I am very very happy for them.
Hot spot: Pangea Restaurant and Bar
6309 N President George Bush Hwy #8101 in Garland
“We enjoy getting drinks at Pangea, they are good and strong. Way to go Kevin Ashade! He makes a good drink, especially the espresso martini. So much of what we do is relationships. I have mad love for Kevin and I love what he’s done by making his own concept and opening right before the pandemic. Those of us who opened during the pandemic have a different look at things. You realize it’s an adjustment every single day, we have to do what we have to do. He has created something that is standing through time. The food is consistent, and you get to see the chef in him.